Horseshoe Bay

We took a trip down to Horseshoe Bay to see Ashton and Scott. The newlyweds were kind enough to host us in their hill country home by Lake LBJ. What a view!

The drive down was twisting and turning as we took the back roads. At about hour three, Jess received a text message from Ashton telling us to watch out for deer crossing the roads. It was approaching sundown and that’s an active time for our whitetail friends to prance and hop over the fences lining the Texas highways. And sure enough a quarter-hour later, a pair of does decided to make the dangerous bound across us. One made it, the other turned around before hitting the pavement, but thankfully I was on high alert. Ashton saves a deer’s life.

Soon after some life-saving, I saw something I’ll never forget. Emerson was having a bad dream and woke up petrified. The sheer terror on her face as she couldn’t verbalize this fear that was gripping her was heart-wrenching. She pointed out the backseat window, shaking in horror and clinched up. It was frightening to witness. Jess had to jump in the back to soothe her. Once she was calm in the protective arms of her mother, we continued our journey.

Ashton’s husband, Scott, is a life-saver too. Literally. He’s an ER surgeon. Scott was on a 36 hour shift when we arrived. So Ashton, Jess, Emerson and I… oh and Wigs the dog… sat and conversed late into the evening, fueled by Becker Vineyards wine, milk and snacks. Emerson stayed up later than she probably ever has but was so excited to discover the pallet Ashton made for her to sleep on.

The next morning, our gracious host made an amazing egg casserole for breakfast while we waiting on Dr. Scott to make it home. Our plan was to venture to Hamilton Springs, a natural spring park about an hour away. We found out as we pulled up to the gate that you have to make reservations in advance to get into the park. So that was a bust.

Luckily central Texas is filled with things to do. Like the exact same thing. We went to a different natural spring called Krause a little closer into Horseshoe Bay.


We were grossly ill-prepared for this experience. Neither Emerson nor Jess had their swimsuits on. And apparently natural springs are a hotbed for injuries as the wet rocks are basically frictionless. You need a certain kind of shoe or to go barefoot.



Krause was a beautiful place. Jess captured a few photos there but didn’t have a wide-angle lens. Another unprepared moment.

We didn’t spend a lot of time there as lunchtime was approaching and our little bear turns into a grumpy bear if she hasn’t had her vittles.


After lunch, a delicious Panini from the press that I’d never let Jess buy as I have a bias against kitchen gadgets that take up too much room, we decided to trek out to Becker Vineyards.

It was a beautiful place. And since our hosts are “members”, we were greeted as VIPs with a special tasting room and different tastings than those with a lesser status. After 6 or 7 tastes, I was in a great mood. And bought 6 bottles of various wines. After all, we have a giant wine fridge and hardly anything in it…

The last stop was Pedernales Vineyards. I’m not sure I knew such a view existed in Texas. Just jaw-dropping. And I already knew I loved their GSM wine because Regan had introduced us to it during a dinner at Stampede 66 in Dallas a few years back. Three more bottles to the collection. A liquid haul, if you will.


On the way to dinner, Scott was navigating. And he fell asleep. So I let Google navigate instead. It was hilarious as he woke up when I parked the car to see the incredible confusion on his face that he’d been napping for 20 minutes.

Dinner was great, and we got Emerson to bed at a reasonable time. The four remaining awake people watched a movie and then called the trip done.

The next morning, Emerson and I took a quick walk outside. We were looking for the three fawns we’d seen on our way into their neighborhood.  We found one young deer and its mom. But Emerson was really excited about hearing the cicada noises. She felt like they needed help. “The ‘casaydas’ need our help, Daddy.” Our daughter is so cute.

Upon our return to the house, we said our thank you’s, goodbye’s and we’ll be back soon’s. And we will. Nine bottles won’t last forever after all.

Great weekend get away.

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